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UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Today, all three priority bills backed by the Office of the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County became law, announced State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. These new laws aim to strengthen Maryland’s hate crime statute, make strangulation a first degree felony and require more appropriate training for special police officers in Maryland. Braveboy also acknowledged the hard work of her former legislative director, now District Court Judge, LaKeecia Allen who shepherded these bills through the House and Senate.
“We are extremely pleased that these much-needed pieces of legislation will finally become law,” said Braveboy. “I cannot thank our legislative partners enough, Senator Joanne Benson and Delegate C.T. Wilson for taking the lead on the hate crime bill; Senator Susan Lee and Delegates Vice Chair Vanessa E. Atterbeary and Jesse T. Pippy for leading the way on the strangulation bill and Delegate Jazz Lewis for the special police officer training bill. Their leadership and partnership has provided important prosecutorial tools and public policy designed to make our community safer.”
Summary of Bills Signed Thursday:SB606/HB917 – Criminal Law – Hate Crimes Basis – 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins, III’s LawThis bill strengthens the current statute, clarifying that hate does not have to be the sole motivation for a hate crime.HB233/SB212 – Criminal Law - Assault in the First Degree - Suffocation or StrangulationThis bill changes strangulation from a second degree assault, carrying up to a $2500 fine to a first degree felony assault and up to a $5,000 fine.HB 1111 - Public Safety - Special Police Officers - Training and Renewal of CommissionThis law now increases the amount of training hours, including de-escalation techniques, for Special Police Officers in Maryland.
The three new laws will go into effect October 1, 2020.
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